Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.04.29 - ISS On-Orbit Status 04/29/08


CDR Volkov worked a major IFM (Inflight Maintenance) in replacing the compressor unit of the Russian SKV-2 air conditioner with a spare, after first verifying deactivation of SKV-2 and the associated NOK-2 condensate evacuation pump.

The separation & reconnection of hydraulic lines required several leak checks during the IFM. The activities were supported by tagup with ground specialists via S-band and photo documented. (The SKV-2 shut down yesterday morning due to high temperature, but the compressor R&R had already been scheduled for some time.)

With the BITS2-12 onboard telemetry system's still disconnected at the SKV-2 and the Elektron ST-64 current stabilizer (BD-SU control mode remaining active), FE-1 Kononenko replaced the ST-64 with a spare unit to check out the latter's operability. Later, Sergey & Oleg reconnected the BITS2-12, and the Elektron was restarted in 32A mode by the ground, with Kononenko monitoring the external temperature of its secondary purification unit (BD) for the first 10 minutes of operations to ensure that there was no overheating. The activities were supported by tagup with ground specialists via S-band. (When the FE-1 disconnected the BITS2-12 telemetry connector at the ST-64, an 'SM Elektron Catastrophic Failure' alarm alerted the crew but was quickly identified by TsUP-Moscow as having been generated by erratic data caused by the cable disconnection. The message was unexpected since it had not annunciated previously in ground tests of the R&R.)

FE-2 Reisman completed Part 2 of the extended troubleshooting of the COL (Columbus Orbital Laboratory) condensate water separator blockage started yesterday: After modification of the condensate recovery system 'T' connector by Kononenko, Reisman removed the Node-2/COL waste water jumper to allow the temporary hookup of a one-liter sample bag, then inspected its accumulating contents periodically during the day for evidence of the blockage. The troubleshooting ended with equipment teardown. (Since first activation of the COL condensate system, ground specialists have suspected a partial blockage of the condensate line from COL through Node-2 into the Lab. Ground-commanded troubleshooting has had inconclusive results. The ISS crew was required to temporarily disconnect the condensate (waste water) jumper in the Node-2/COL vestibule in order to obtain flow rate data as a step towards possibly locating the site of the blockage.)

The FE-1 continued the transfer & installation in the Functional Cargo Block (FGB) of the first set of stowage enclosures delivered by the ATV1 (Automated Transfer Vehicle1), which were built to provide more efficient stowage spaces behind FGB panels. (Today's outfitting was in FGB Zone 41 (behind panel 218).)

The CDR conducted the extensive periodic audit of SUBA (Onboard Equipment Control System) plug-in locations in the Russian segment (RS), supported by an uplinked 4-page checklist. (The standard audit establishes what hardware is plugged in at which electrical RS outlets. SUBA controls, monitors, and diagnoses RS systems status. It operates using sensor output signals and command radio link SM functional outputs, onboard computer system (BVS) units, SM control panels, and system relay outputs. Its software resides in the SM central computer (TsVM) and terminal computer (TVM). The BSKs are used to switch electrical power and protect electrical circuits with fuses against overloads.)

In the Lab, FE-2 supported the CSLM-2 (Coarsening in Solid-Liquid Mixtures 2) experiment in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox) facility by continuing the vacuum venting (evacuation) sequence of the sample chamber in preparation for experiment operations scheduled tomorrow. (Evacuation activities consisted in closing vacuum vent valves, checking for acceptable humidity levels, and opening the SPU (Sample Processing Unit) water valve to initiate unattended vacuum prep, followed later by closing the SPU water valve, checking again for humidity levels in the sample chamber, and opening the vent valve and vacuum valve to initiate a vacuum draw on the sample chamber. The steps were later repeated for another SPU. CSLM-2 examines the kinetics of competitive particle growth within a liquid matrix. During this process, small particles shrink by losing atoms to larger particles, causing the larger particles to grow (coarsen) within a liquid lead/tin matrix. This study defined the mechanisms and rates of coarsening that govern the manufacture with metals from turbine blades to dental amalgam fillings.)

FE-2 Reisman updated the three deployed Warning books in their Payload and TCS (Thermal Control System) sections, in particular by replacing pages and making P&I (Pen & Ink) changes for possible NH3 (ammonia) spills/leaks. The books were then restowed at their Lab, SM & FGB locations.

Garrett also conducted the routine maintenance of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM, including ASU toilet facilities systems/replaceables.

Oleg completed the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing its standard 'delta file' including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

The three crewmembers had their standard periodic PMC (Private Medical Conference) via S- & Ku-band audio/video.

The crew completed their regular 2.5-hr. physical workout program (about half of which is used for setup & post-exercise personal hygiene) on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-2), TVIS treadmill (CDR, FE-1), RED (FE-2) and VELO bike with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-1). (The RED, as an anaerobic muscle exerciser, allows a variety of routines: squat, heel raises, bent-over rowing, abdominal crunches, deadlift, bench presses, upright rowing, etc. For Sergey & Oleg, who are using RED three times a week, each day features four different routines which vary from day to day to target different muscle groups.)

Afterwards, Garrett transferred the crew's exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) laptop for downlinking, as well as the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on RED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

Volkov & Kononenko again had the regular full hour for themselves for general orientation (station familiarization & acclimatization) as is standard daily rule for fresh crewmembers for the first two weeks after starting station residency. (Today also used as backup for completing the complex IFMs in case of time overrun.)

At ~5:20pm, just before sleep time, Kononenko will set up the Russian MBI-12 SONOKARD (Sonocard) payload and start his first experiment session, using a sports shirt from the SONOKARD kit with a special device in the pocket for testing a new method for acquiring physiological data without using direct contact on the skin. Measurements are recorded on a data card for return to Earth. Volkov will start his first MBI-12 session tomorrow evening. (SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember's physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.)

Soyuz TMA-12 Relocation Update: The Soyuz 16S relocation from DC1 to FGB, originally set for 5/7, has been deferred to a later date. Consequently, Progress 29P on 5/16 will have to dock to the FGB nadir port instead of the DC1. If its KURS antenna fails to retract nominally (as happened on 10/26/06 with Progress M-58/23P), Flight Rules currently would not allow the docking at this port. Also, if the Soyuz relocation does not take place before the next Russian EVA (7/10-11), Reisman, as IVA crewmember, will have to remain in the Soyuz vehicle, docked at the DC1, during the spacewalk.

Soyuz TMA-11 Anomaly Update: The Russian commission investigating the Soyuz 15S ballistic re-entry (4/19) has been elevated to a State Commission headed by Roskosmos, with RSC-Energia participating. The team has been directed to conclude the investigation by the end of May.

CEO (Crew Earth Observations) photo targets uplinked for today were Tropical Cyclone Nargis, Bay of Bengal (Dynamic event. ISS track passed over the predicted center of this storm, which should have reached Category 3 strength. It is a relatively small, well-structured storm. The ground suggested oblique views looking directly forward, with short lenses, to capture the entire cloud mass in one image), Afar Rift Zone, Ethiopia (looking left from track for the volcanoes (black rock masses) and numerous straight fault lines in this famous rift zone (one of the few places on Earth where an oceanic spreading center can be seen above sea level)), and Lake Pontchartrain, Mississippi Delta (Dynamic event. Looking left for water color changes in Lake Pontchartrain which lies immediately north of New Orleans and the Mississippi River. The spillway between the present high water of the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain has been opened to reduce pressure on New Orleans's dikes. Looking for turbid water in the lake).

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